A new era of excellence: the 2019 EAIE Award winners

A new era of excellence: the 2019 EAIE Award winners

According to Aristotle, “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution.” This year’s recipients of the EAIE Awards are a fantastic example of how tireless work, dedication and commitment make a positive difference in internationalisation.

The EAIE is always striving to find the best ways to highlight success stories within our community and to empower our members to better themselves personally and professionally. To that end, this spring we launched a new streamlined awards portfolio, with three awards recognising inspiring examples of internationalisation best practices, remarkable achievements in developing new strategies, and the impactful contribution of time and expertise to support the Association.

These new awards recognise the outstanding work of our peers and excellence in the field, while continuing to honour the pioneers who inspired the awards. As we usher in this new era of celebrating excellence, we are thrilled to announce the five winners of the 2019 EAIE Awards, selected by the EAIE Awards and Talent Committee.

Award for Excellence in Internationalisation

This award celebrates higher education institutions that have demonstrated excellence in the field and have successfully implemented internationalisation strategies and activities that include, reflect or promote three or more of the EAIE values. This year’s winner, Palacký University Olomouc, has developed rapidly in recent years, taking internationalisation to the next level with an innovative approach that has focused on mobility as well as creating strong research links. Find out what steps Palacký University Olomouc has taken to develop its comprehensive internationalisation strategy during a special session at EAIE Helsinki 2019. They will be joined by West University of Timișoara, who were 'highly commended' for their international efforts.

Award for Vision and Leadership

This award recognises inspiring individuals or organisations for their remarkable achievements in demonstrating and developing strategies that create new ways of thinking and opportunities in the field of international higher education. We are delighted to present this year’s Vision and Leadership award winner: Sjur Bergan. Head of the Council of Europe’s Education Department, Sjur has played a crucial role in the Bologna Process, the Lisbon Recognition Convention and the European Qualification Passport for Refugees. Sjur’s career is an enlightening example of how structural reforms can reflect core higher education values of inclusion and academic freedom.

Award for Outstanding Contribution

This award acknowledges members who contribute their valuable time and expertise to the Association and the European international higher education community at large. This year’s winners, Eveke de Louw and Beer Schröder, have done exactly that, and the impact of their contributions can be felt both within and beyond the EAIE.

Eveke has proven herself to be a rising star in the international higher education community. An enthusiastic volunteer leader, she has devoted much of her time to the EAIE as a speaker and writer, and in addition is a driving force behind the Internationalisation at Home Expert Community. Beer is a long-serving EAIE member, experienced and beloved session speaker and an advocate for LGTBQ+ rights in our community. He has worked tirelessly to better the field of international education for more than 36 years.

President’s Award

The President’s Award is awarded by the EAIE President to an individual or group of her choosing, in recognition of above-and-beyond contributions to the field of international higher education. This year EAIE President Sabine Pendl has chosen the Systemic University Change Towards Internationalisation (SUCTI) project, for its inclusive approach to comprehensive internationalisation.

The SUCTI project is a three-year initiative funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ – KA2 Strategic Partnerships for higher education, with the goal of empowering administrative staff with knowledge and skills related to their university’s internationalisation process. SUCTI recently received continued funding to further pursue the development and implementation of this impactful initiative, the next instalment of which will engage with academic staff.

It is our honour and our duty to celebrate the excellent achievements of the individuals and institutions who are working hard each day to advance international higher education in Europe and beyond. Congratulations to the 2019 EAIE Award winners and thank you to all those who took the time to nominate. We look forward to honouring their achievements at the 31st Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition in Helsinki.